Wisconsin’s Dominant Rushing Attack Wears Down Northwestern
The Northwestern Wildcats pushed the No. 4-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes to the limit last week losing a close game 40-30. However, the Wildcats faced an uphill battle at they traveled to Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday to face the Wisconsin Badgers.
The Wildcats were emotionally and physically spent from last week’s game and Wisconsin took advantage of it. The Badgers pounded the Wildcats behind their massive offensive line en route to the 35-6 victory over Northwestern.
Northwestern’s defensive weaknesses were exposed against the Buckeyes in last week’s defeat. Ohio State was able to amass 248 rushing yards and pounded the Wildcats between the tackles with running back Carlos Hyde.
This week, the Badgers implemented the same gameplan to rush for 286 yards against the Wildcats. Wisconsin gained 527 yards of total offense and physically manhandled the Wildcats defensive line. The Badgers were able to muscle their way to 5.6 yards per carry and wore down the undersized Wildcats early in the second half.
Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon exploded for a game-high 172 yards on 22 carries (7.8 yards per carry). Senior James White added 101 yards rushing on 19 carries (5.3 yards per carry). The Badgers were able to control the tempo of the game by using a ball-control attack that held the football for 38:23 minutes in time of possession.
Wisconsin’s offense was able to dictate the action and force Northwestern into selling out against the run. The Badgers continued to rotate backs and keep fresh legs in the game at all times. Northwestern was never able mount a defensive stand and the Badgers forced the Wildcats into becoming one dimensional on offense.